Brexit Hits Voters Where It Hurts – In Their Wallets – As Majority Reveal They Don’t Want to Be Worse Off By Leaving the EU

13.12.16

A placard on the March for Europe in London on September 3, 2016 addressing the Leave campaign's most egregious lie - that £350m a week would be saved by leaving the EU, money that would be used to support the NHS (Photo: Andy Worthington).Please support my work as a freelance investigative journalist and commentator.

 

In an update from Brexit Britain, the powerful news this week is that some of those who voted for the UK to leave the EU in the June referendum are how clearly having second thoughts, as the economic impact of their suicidal vote starts to become apparent.

Because we have not yet left the EU and the economy has not gone into freefall as we drive ourselves voluntarily off the highest cliff imaginable, in the single most self-destructive act by a nation state in modern history, the chief fantasists of the Brexit camp — those Tory MPs and media commentators obsessed in a deranged manner with an illusory notion of Britain’s sovereignty — are still free to pretend that Brexit will not be a disaster, but is instead some sort of fabulous opportunity.

But two stories this week suggest that this colossal act of self-deception is under threat.

The first involves two polls undertaken last week. The first, conducted by YouGov for Open Britain, the organisation that rose from the ashes of the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign, revealed that, as the Guardian described it, “The British public will not accept a Brexit deal that leaves them worse off financially … In a sign that a majority of the public would be unwilling to accept an economically damaging hard Brexit, half of those who voted to leave the EU in June, including 62% of Labour voters and 59% of those in the north, would not be willing to lose any money at all as a consequence of Britain’s withdrawal.”

Just one in 10 of those who responded to questions from YouGov said that they “would be willing to lose more than £100 a month,” and Peter Kellner, the former president of YouGov, said that the results suggested that Theresa May “could have real difficulty in delivering a Brexit that satisfies those who voted for it.” He added, “This is the first poll to look specifically at whether leave voters are willing to accept any financial loss as a result of Brexit. The answer is that few are prepared to.”

The poll showed that 28% of voters expect to lose money as a result of Brexit, and that only 1 in 20 expect to be better off as a result, while just over 1 in 5 (22%) don’t expect that Brexit will have any impact on their finances.

Alarmingly, 45% have no idea what to expect – even though a significant boost to the Leave campaign’s popularity was its unfounded claim that leaving the EU would mean that £350m a week would be returned to the UK — to be spent, the Leave campaigners lied, on the NHS.

Another poll was undertaken by the consumer magazine Which?, revealing that “almost half the population (47%) are worried about Brexit, up eight points since September, with nearly two-thirds concerned about its potential impact on food prices.”

Interestingly, the Which? poll revealed that those who voted to leave the EU in areas where a majority of people voted to leave “are among those most unhappy to be left worse off, according to the study – including 59% in the north and 54% in Wales and the Midlands,” and even UKIP supporters are demonstrating an awareness of reality, with 39% not wanting to be worse off because of Brexit.

The Guardian noted that those opposing a “hard Brexit,” favoured by Theresa May, who has become a tyrannical Leave supporter since the referendum, “believe the findings could convince the government to think again on potential plans to pull out of the single market – and could reignite a contentious debate over whether Brexit voters were aware that their ballots meant leaving the single market,” something that voters weren’t aware of, of course, because the referendum was a ridiculously simplistic binary process: a simple yes or no, on an issue that is actually one of mind-bending complexity, with 43 years of laws and treaties tying us to the EU like the circulatory system of the human body.

In response to the polls, Tim Farron, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, who have adopted a clear anti-Brexit position, unlike the conflicted Labour Party, said, “It’s clear the British public don’t want a hard Brexit at any cost, despite what the Tories might think. They no longer support membership of the single market and have given up on people who don’t wish to sign away a blank cheque Brexit.”

The Guardian also noted that Open Britain’s poll also suggests that “the prolonged period of uncertainty since the 23 June referendum has chipped away at the pro-Brexit majority,” noting that, “If a rerun of the vote were held tomorrow, remain and leave would be tied at 44% each, with 5% not voting at all and 7% undecided.”

On another front, as London suffers from flood after flood as a result of burst water mains, Aditya Chakrabortty in the Guardian has been asking how the economic blow that will undoubtedly be delivered if we leave the EU will be received by those who voted for it on the basis of lies — and points out how the government’s ongoing obsession with selling off British assets is relentlessly continuing, even though it is actually exactly what Leave voters don’t want, and even though part of the problem is revealed through an examination of who owns Thames Water, and how they’ve been plundering it financially.

In ‘A Brexit betrayal is coming – but who will get the blame?’ Chakrabortty asks, “What happens when 17 million people get the feeling they’ve been cheated?” adding, “That will be the most profound question in British politics, not just in 2017 but for many years to come. As the broken promises of Brexit pile up one on top of the other, so that they are visible from Sunderland, from Great Yarmouth, from Newport, what will the leave voters do then?”

He then explains that he isn’t talking about the £350m NHS lie, but about the promises “that went far deeper. The vow to ‘take back control’. To stop being the human punchline to someone else’s macroeconomic joke. To – as our north of England editor Helen Pidd wrote last week – no longer live on crumbs, while others in London enjoy entire loaves.”

As he proceeds to explain, “The Brexiteers were explicitly offering voters a once-in-a-lifetime shot at changing the status quo,” except that “change, in our new prime minister’s dictionary, just means more of the same. “[W]hatever is promised – hard or soft, red white or blue – it’s clear that the terms of Brexit will be dictated by Donald Tusk, Angela Merkel and the other 27 members of the EU, rather than by our dream team of May, Boris Johnson and David Davis,” Chakrabortty notes, adding, “We can also see much else of what the next few years will bring. The economic plan for the rest of this decade has been laid out by Philip Hammond, and it equals austerity-lite – but for even longer. The forecasts for wages and living standards are in, and they indicate Britain will suffer its first lost decade since Karl Marx was alive.”

He then runs through May’s broken promises — reversing her promise to “call off the expensive disaster of Hinkley C,” dropping her vow to install workers on company boards, and promising to stick up for “just about managing” families, then allowing Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, to “carry on slashing taxes for multinationals” instead.

Then Chakrabortty reaches his key point — “the foreign ownership of Britain’s infrastructure,” and delivers the following condemnation of one deal in particular, involving Macquarie, the Australian investment bank that heads the consortium that bought Thames Water in 2006 — and which announced its intention to sell its stake earlier this year. While water pipes are bursting all over London causing immense damage, because of neglect by Thames Water, Chakrabortty reveals that an academic study revealed that, in four out of the five years up to 2012, “Macquarie and its fellow investors took out more money from the company than it made in post-tax profits.” No wonder no neighbourhood is safe from watery destruction. As Chakrabortty also notes, some analysts cite the sell-off of Thames Water as “being among the greatest debacles in all of Britain’s history of privatisation.

Last week, while the tabloids and the majority of the now degenerate liberal mainstream media were encouraging everyone to look the other way (at the Supreme Court’s deliberations about the need for Parliament to be consulted before we leave the EU), the National Grid agreed to sell a a 61% shareholding in its gas pipe network to a consortium led by Macquarie, “also backed by China Investment Corporation (CIC) and Qatar Investment Authority, along with fund managers including Hermes and Allianz.”

As Chakrabortty describes Macquarie’s predatory role:

Remember how May promised to scrutinise any proposed takeovers of such strategic assets as water, energy and transport? Well, last week, while the rightwing commentators were diligently huffing and puffing over Gina Miller at the supreme court, another kind of sovereignty was being covered on the City pages. The National Grid announced it would sell a majority of its gas pipelines to a consortium of largely overseas investors, including China and Qatar, and led by an Australian investment bank, Macquarie.

You may never have heard of Macquarie, but my guess is you’ve probably been one of its customers. The bank is known as the “millionaires’ factory” or the “vampire kangaroo” – and it owns a lot of the most prosaic parts of British life. You’ve been Macquaried if you’ve left your car in a National Car Park, or flown out of Glasgow, Southampton or Aberdeen or if you’re among its 14 million customers in Thames Water. And as of next spring, it will lead an international group with a 61% share in our biggest gas distribution network: that’s 82,000 miles of pipe, serving 11m homes and businesses across eastern England, the north-west and the West Midlands.

I have come across Macquarie before, through its handling of Thames Water, which some analysts cite as being among the greatest debacles in all of Britain’s history of privatisation. Just as with National Grid, it led a consortium to buy Thames. Two academics at the Open University examined the accounts between 2007 and 2012 and found that in four out of those five years, Macquarie and its fellow investors took out more money from the company than it made in post-tax profits. They crippled the firm with billions in debt, while Thames customers paid ever more in water bills and got among the worst service offered by any water company.

And if you think this is bad, bear in mind that Macquarie and other non-UK, non-EU corporations, China, Qatar and other Gulf states, unaccountable hedge funds and other leech-like or vampiric enemies of British well-being and economic prosperity are exactly who the Brexiteers in government are turning to to sell what has not already been sold in an effort to stave off the worst of the disaster that leaving the EU will entail. From living in a peaceful lagoon in which our fellow fish are, more or less, just like us (the EU), we are now plunging into inhospitable waters full of sharks just waiting to feast on what is left of the corpse of the UK.

When, or if, I wonder, will people wake up to the true cost of Brexit, and the reality that our so-called leaders are actually preparing to sell us off even more disgracefully than they have been doing for the last 30 years?

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose debut album ‘Love and War’ and EP ‘Fighting Injustice’ are available here to download or on CD via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and the Countdown to Close Guantánamo initiative, launched in January 2016), the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison (finally freed on October 30, 2015), and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by the University of Chicago Press in the US, and available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).

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21 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, looking at the latest Brexit news – the polls revealing that Leave voters don’t want to actually leave the EU if it means they’ll be worse off, and the grim truth revealed in the underreported story that the UK gas network has just been flogged off to an international consortium including China and Qatar and led by Macquarie, an Australian investment bank which, in 2006, led the consortium that took over Thames Water – the company responsible for the current plague of burst water mains across London, whose investors have been revealed, over several years, to have taken more money out of the company than it made in post-tax profits. Selling everything to unaccountable foreign corporations is what Brexit actually means, but will the Brexit voters wake up and realise this, or will they continue to be blinded by their suicidal fantasies about freedom and sovereignty?

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Brexit woes leading to Tory infighting is always good news – ‘Theresa May to meet the Tory “new bastards” opposed to hard Brexit’: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/13/theresa-may-meet-tory-new-bastards-opposed-to-hard-brexit

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    And an interesting article here about how Brexit – and Trump’s victory in the US – have only reinforced the narrow, broken power systems that voters hoped to destroy – by David Runciman of Cambridge University in the New Statesman – ‘We have been thinking about Brexit back to front’: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2016/12/we-have-been-thinking-about-brexit-back-front

  4. damo says...

    you couldnt make this sick government up surely now nobody needs any more evidance that brexit is going to be an utter disaster

  5. damo says...

    if we do god forbid have a hard brexit as the crazy bag lady wants it as ive said before it will be the poorest and most vulnerable who will suffer the most. allready inflation is up food is going up …this country will become a bananna republic owned and controled by monsters

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    I think hard Brexit’s coming under the cosh, Damo, as it must, of course – but I can’t see any genuine good news. Living standards will decline, the racist isolationist narrative will continue to thrive unchallenged, poisoning any prospect of us living in peace as we more or less were doing before the referendum. The dirty genie of hatred is out of the bottle – and it’s Theresa May’s fault that it’s not being challenged, because, as I maintain, she is a racist and a xenophobe. Even if cutting our own throat over our dealings with our European partners and colleagues could ever be dressed up as anything other than the most insane act of national suicide in history (which I doubt), May is a poison bomb in No. 10, as she is incapable of reaching out to non-EU foreigners to gain their support. She wants their money, but she doesn’t want to have to actually allow any foreigners into the UK for any reason, as she showed on her disgraceful visit to India recently.
    See ‘Theresa May’s India trip reveals much about who will matter in post-Brexit Britain’ by Priyamvada Gopal, a lecturer at Cambridge Uni: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/08/theresa-may-india-trip-post-brexit-britain

    The opening paragraphs:

    The world order we live in isn’t exactly known for its equitable treatment of people across national, racial or economic boundaries, but there are times when the klaxon sounds especially loudly for double standards. In recent months we’ve seen that when it comes to free movement, there’s one set of rules for oligarchs and big corporations and a completely different one for agricultural workers from eastern Europe, nurses from the Philippines and war-afflicted refugees in desperate need of shelter.

    So it should come as no great surprise that for all the bluster about Brexit enabling “closer” relationships with Commonwealth countries (read “former colonial possessions”), Prime Minister Theresa May has arrived in India with little to offer in exchange for desperately needed post-Brexit trade deals. That is, little other than bespoke treatment for the Indian super-rich, “high net worth” individuals who will receive preferential visas and immigration opportunities in exchange for investment.

    There’s also some talk of throwing down a few concessions in return for India assisting with the “speed and volume of returns of Indians with no right to remain in the UK”. For all the banal grandstanding about Britain’s and India’s love for each other’s cricket and music and a “shared history” (glossing silently, of course, over the bits that involved massive violence by the former to hold down the latter), the long-established racially discriminatory disgrace that is Britain’s visa regime for citizens of its former colonies is set to continue.

    The infamous “virginity tests” of the 70s – when women from the Indian subcontinent were subjected to gynaecological examinations at Heathrow to establish their bona fides as prospective brides of British Asians – may thankfully only be a traumatic memory. But if you are from India or another Commonwealth country and don’t have enough wealth to neutralise your skin colour with the “bespoke visa” offered by May, then expect to continue to be put through a byzantine application procedure to come to the UK to see the sights.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    So yesterday Helena Kennedy QC, who chairs a House of Lords EU subcommittee, suggested that the situation is so precarious for EU citizens in the UK that they should “collect[] together bills, rental or home ownership documents, employment paperwork, or evidence of appointments for those who do not have jobs.” She said, “Make a file now with proof of your presence [and] supporting letters from people who’ve known you, who have taught you or who you have had business dealings with.”
    See ‘EU citizens should collect proof of living in UK, says Helena Kennedy’: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/14/eu-citizens-collect-proof-of-living-in-uk-helena-kenney-qc-lords-brexit-reports

  8. damo says...

    there is going to be such a backlash against the uk and its citizens they call us the ….stupid island apes….theres anti uk feelings across europe ..someone anyone rid us of these tories. if we leave and the crazy bag lady will try to do it……god willing shes stopped ……it will be hell here there will be mass emagration people fleeing and only the poor the old and the ill will be left…..have you seen the breaking jd sports scandle there even nastyer than sports direct

  9. damo says...

    the torie mentality is what can you do for me as we have said before with torie types you have to be of use to them be it finnacialy socialy materialy…..sexualy…or you are seen as defective and of no value, in fact your takeing from them, dimminnishing them ……by just liveing.

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    We are moving back to a time before the majority of us had any kind of protection, Damo – no NHS, no welfare state, no protection from savage employers – and I wish people realised it; realised that it’s not fanciful to say these things.
    The JD Sports story is pretty horrible, but not unexpected. The Guardian reports that a five-week undercover investigation by Channel 4 revealed “harsh practices” at a warehouse in Rochdale, where around 1,500 people work, a mix of agency staff and JD Sports employees, “including a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ policy, intense surveillance and heightened job insecurity among agency workers.” One worker said it was “worse than a prison.”

    The Guardian’s article continued:

    After watching the footage, Iain Wright MP, chair of the Commons business, energy and industrial energy committee, said workers were “treated like scum”. He said the alleged three-strikes policy was “twice as bad as what we found at Sports Direct”.

    TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said it was “increasingly clear that Sports Direct wasn’t just one bad apple, and that terrible working practices are taking place across the UK. The government needs to look seriously at how this sort of behaviour continues to take place in today’s Britain.”

    See: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/dec/15/jd-sports-warehouse-channel-4-kingsway-rochdale
    https://www.channel4.com/news/ive-sacked-people-for-sitting-down-undercover-inside-jd-sports

    O’Grady is right, but asking the government to examine it is like asking a murderer with a bloody knife to conduct an appraisal of how to prevent knife crime. Part of the reason is in the last line of the article – “JD Sports reported record first-half profits of £77.4m in September, up 66%,” – while, incidentally, the profits of Sports Direct, rocked by earlier scandals, “fell 57% to £71.6m.”
    So that seems to show that the public can in some cases wake up to injustice, but not necessarily to its causes. The reason these companies exploit their workers so savagely isn’t just because of their bosses and shareholders seeking ever greater profits, but also because consumers are being wooed by permanent price wars, and won’t pay attention to the fact that, to save them a bit of money, people are being exploited.
    When young women buying disposable clothes from Primark and the many online retailers whose teen jailbait adverts are everywhere – Boohoo.com, Nobody’s Child etc. – don’t ask how their clothes are so cheap, exploited workers in other countries continue to get exploited, sometimes with fatal results: http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/04/26/these-retailers-involved-in-bangladesh-factory-disaster-have-yet-to-compensate-victims/#7d7d96f757c5
    https://cleanclothes.org/safety/ranaplaza/who-needs-to-pay-up
    Similarly, we know it’s not just the big sports warehouses. Amazon has one of the worst records for exploiting its workers, and yet it isn’t generally stopping people from buying from them, although I think it should. As the tagline in the first article states, “You might find your Prime membership morally indefensible after reading these stories about worker mistreatment.”
    See ‘Worse than Wal-Mart: Amazon’s sick brutality and secret history of ruthlessly intimidating workers’ in Salon:
    http://www.salon.com/2014/02/23/worse_than_wal_mart_amazons_sick_brutality_and_secret_history_of_ruthlessly_intimidating_workers/
    ‘Amazon “regime” making British staff physically and mentally ill, says union’: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/aug/18/amazon-regime-making-british-staff-physically-and-mentally-ill-says-union
    ‘Amazon’s brutal work culture will stay: bottom lines matter more than people’: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/22/amazon-brutal-work-culture
    As the tagline of that article states, “Capitalism doesn’t believe in the value of work except as dictated by a marketplace, and corporations can afford to exploit their far-flung workers.”
    The answer to the JD Sports scandal isn’t just to target them; what’s also needed is a campaign for ethical shopping, and, more broadly, a realisation that there has to be more to life than endless shopping. I almost lose the will to live when I spend time in heavily populated consumer environments, like Oxford Street. No one’s actually happy. It’s like watching soulless drug addicts getting a tiny fix every time their contactless card is wafted over the card machine at Top Shop – or some other drek run by Philip Green, whose greed, I thought, people were supposed to be aware of – or Zara, or any of the other forced labour showrooms that cram our high streets and out-of-town malls.

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Today, the Guardian reports that “Europe’s politicians believe a trade deal with the UK could take up to a decade or more and could still fail in the final stages, Downing Street has been warned by the UK’s ambassador to the EU,” Sir Ivan Rogers. The diplomat, “who conducted David Cameron’s renegotiation with the EU before the referendum, is reported to have told Theresa May that European politicians expect that a deal will not be finalised until the early to mid-2020s, according to the BBC. That deal could still be rejected by any of the 27 national parliaments during the ratification process.”
    See: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/15/eu-politicians-believe-trade-deal-could-take-decade-no-10-is-warned

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    In the meantime, Britons living in the EU feel, understandably, insecure and abandoned by Theresa May’s government, which has a tendency to treat EU citizens in the UK (and therefore UK citizens in other EU countries) as bargaining chips. We saw the lack of concern for Brits living abroad during the lie-soaked referendum campaign, when, as with so many other issues, they were barely mentioned.

    As the Guardian reports:

    British citizens who have chosen to work or spend their retirement years elsewhere in Europe fear their pensions, healthcare and right to remain will disappear post-Brexit.

    “We were not even allowed to vote in the referendum that could turn our lives upside down,” said Denise Hope, a retired translator living in Italy. “I feel very bitter about it, as do other expats.”

    Hope is one of 1.2 million Britons living elsewhere in the EU whose lives have been thrown into disarray by the prospect of Brexit. Rights to property and to own a business are protected under international law, but automatic reciprocal rights to pensions, education grants and healthcare are not.

    See: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/15/britons-expats-europe-how-brexit-affect-them

  13. damo says...

    the trouble andy were liveing in the era of me me and i want i want….i want it cheeper. with the decline of mainstream religion consumerisum has stepped in to fill the void. as you pointed out about primark people expect and demand cheap throwaway clothes ….cheap throwaway everything espies people. friends of mine have a stall at portabello market in west london, that market has been going for 50 years but is slowly dying its being strangled by developers and gentrification. people cant even cover there costs let alone make a liveing and heres the rub to buy somewere round there costs millions its full of very rich people yet there the same people who will haggle over a f..king pound …….and there it is…..i want …i want…i want… the thing that was so discusting about sports direct is there was the fat sow mike ashley poseing for the press going through the security checks emptying out his pockettes ….rolls of money litteraly wads of cash…if looks could kill his workers would have torn him limb from limb and rightly so …this exploitation of workers and resources will get worse until the culture of …i want..i want…..is ended

  14. damo says...

    theresa may excluded and shuned by other eu leaders…….well theres a suprise

  15. damo says...

    ill give you an example of the i want i want again it was at portabello market a young guy selling collectables brick a brack ect 5 bits for 2 pound a very wealthy looking american woman comes up ………i want 10 bits for 2 pound this guy is trying to make a liveing shes stood there prob in a grands worth of clothes demanding to be given a discount on 2 pound on and on he says no after he says you can have 6 items for a pound …i dont want any of them then ……people are watching and start, because shes makeing such a scene, they start heckling her calling her cheap and mocking her and heres the sad part instead of feeling embarrised by being so cheap she started acting the victim ….whinniy voice people are so mean and nasty….she was so unawere so guilded ….and that andy is an example of the cult of …..i want…i want…i want

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    That’s a powerful anecdote about Mike Ashley of Sports Direct. Just like something from a Dickens novel, updated. And just as then, the only alternative route to anger was to organise – those brave workers who got organised and set up trade unions to protect themselves from the tyranny of unregulated employers.
    But the biggest problem is that workers are isolated. In society as a while, there isn’t the disgust there ought to be. Always a nation dominated by greedy and unprincipled scum, we have now turned into America, where the average person’s view is that those who are wealthy must be revered, regardless of how they came by their wealth.
    Recent Guardian editorial here – ‘The Guardian view on British business: stop stroking the fat cats’: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/29/the-guardian-view-on-british-business-stop-stroking-the-fat-cats
    But what I don’t really see anywhere is anyone addressing the moral vacuum at the heart of modern capitalism.

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, embarrassing, eh, Damo? http://www.lbc.co.uk/politics/parties/conservatives/theresa-may/awkward-footage-eu-leaders-shunning-theresa-may/
    But she has, I think, such a brittle ego that it will only embolden her to despise Europeans even more. In her world, I fear, she’d be happy if no one foreign lived or worked here ever again.

  18. Andy Worthington says...

    That’s another powerful anecdote, Damo, about how tight-fisted so many rich people are – and, unfortunately, how they don’t care, or rather, will turn their colossal sense of entitlement into victimhood if challenged. Good on the crowd for trying, through. This me me me mentality needs challenging on a regular basis.
    Poor Portobello Market. I hope it survives, but who knows? The way things are going, the greedy developers and their pimps in government will destroy every last vestige of working class independence. Berwick Street Market is already being strangled. I still cycle regularly into central London, but there’s increasingly less and less that interests me. Clothes, shoes, clothes, shoes, clothes, shoes. Repeat ad infinitum.

  19. damo says...

    jesus andrew marr cannot get enough of the tories can he brown noseing and begging he,s got osborne on that shitty little weasle and get this….talking about the economy……..lol what to do about brexit …lol…thease people think that people are stupid now camerons on and now may……for f..ks sake give us a break……..dissmantle and abolish the bbc ……..now

  20. damo says...

    how dare osborne even show his face in public after all he,s done wrecking the economy protecting the banks and rich at the expence of the poorest ….vile…….weres the anger…weres the fightback to quote david bowie …were are we now

  21. Andy Worthington says...

    “Where are we now?” indeed, Damo.
    As I’ve mentioned to you before, I’ve stopped watching the BBC’s main news programmes, Question Time makes me ill, and I don’t know how you persist in watching the Andrew Marr Show. ITV seems much more credible to me – especially when the skeptical Tom Bradby is the presenter on the Ten O’Clock News, and Robert Peston’s show seem to be OK too. I still watch Newsnight sometimes, and Channel 4 News, although that’s also a mixed bag, as Cathy Newman can be horribly aggressive to anyone on the left.
    And in conclusion, Have I Got News For You is my top recommendation for an interpretation of the news!

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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